Like many of you, I have great childhood memories associated with scouting, from hiking, swimming, archery, and snow camp to jamborees and merit badges as varied as first aid and coin collecting, which I earned with ample help from my dad. But scouting always promised to teach me more than how to do useful things. Its oft-repeated goal was to teach me how to live in any situation. Come on, say it with me, you know the words: “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”
Unlike so many other activities that just give young people things to do, scouting answers the all-important question of why and how they should do them. In a culture where self-absorption is the rule, scouting focuses on the ethical obligations we owe to others. That is why every scout promises: “To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” This longstanding focus on moral duty is what sets scouting apart from mere “play” pursuits. It is also the reason why Boy Scouts of America continues to thrive over 100 years after its founding, while most groups founded so long ago are dwindling or dead.
That track record of success is a good reason not to tinker with the Boy Scouts’ essential values. But for well over a decade now activists have waged a relentless crusade to force the Boy Scouts to approve homosexual conduct and welcome avowed homosexuals into their ranks. Of course, the freedom of association prevents such external interference with the Boy Scouts’ moral values and the importance of this right is not lost on you. As members of university student groups, many of you have been routinely attacked for not opening leadership and membership positions to those who vehemently disagree with your religious or policy views. You know what it’s like to fight battles to keep your club’s recognized status, student-fee funding, and freedom of association from being stripped away.
Just as Alliance Defending Freedom stood with you to ensure that your freedom of association was respected, we stand in support of the Boy Scouts now. And we need your help. Let the Boy Scouts know that you support their decision to stand by their values by signing our petition and then sharing it with your family and friends. And pray for the Boy Scouts, as they remain a strong bulwark against the moral relativism that is tearing our nation apart.
This post originally appeared here.